Surfing legend Marina Korcsmaros had nearly completed her first Ironman swim training at California's Corona del Mar.

Seconds later tragedy stuck.

Beneath the murky water was a 2.8 metre great white shark, stalking its prey - that prey being Korcsmaros.

Before she could even spot the shark, its jaws had come crashing down on her torso while her tricep was hanging by a thread.

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As the shark swam away, reality kicked in. Korcsmaros' body was being held together by her wetsuit as she kicked and lashed out in desperation.

Just 20 seconds later, the lifeguards swooped in to save her. Her dice with death occurred in May 2016.

Maria Korcsmaros in hospital following the attack in May 2016. Photo / Facebook
Maria Korcsmaros in hospital following the attack in May 2016. Photo / Facebook

But a year later, another woman fell victim to California's now troublesome shark problem.

Leeanne Ericson was attacked at San Onofre State Beach, just 50km south of the location where Korcsmaros nearly lost her life.

On the day of Ericson's attack there were 27 sharks spotted along the Los Angeles coast.

"After second shark attack in a year, should we be freaking out?" the Orange County Register asked.

The west coast had nine recorded unprovoked shark attacks in 2017.

Locals are growing concerned over the increase of sharks with lifeguards setting up shark watch websites.

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But following California's shark boom one surfing legend believes he has the solution.

"This is so clearly going to turn into something catastrophic," former Australian surf champion Ian Cairns told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"When you have this many sharks with this many people going to the beach, you're coming into some sort of calamity and someone needs to do something."

Cairns has teamed up with Smart Marine Systems and is lobbying for technology that scans the ocean floors, detects shark movement and sends warnings to lifeguards to be implemented in California.

Congress announced the trial of the clever buoys at Corona del Mar but no one will cough up the $1 million to install and run six buoys for a year.

Cairns said that bureaucrats are avoiding the discussion of the possibility of people dying, and believes the technology will help both sharks and humans interact or at least exist harmoniously in the same environment.

"These guys don't want to admit they've got a mega problem," he says.

Chris Lowe, director of the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach, analyses the mangled wetsuit Maria Korcsmaros was wearing when she was attacked. Photo / AP
Chris Lowe, director of the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach, analyses the mangled wetsuit Maria Korcsmaros was wearing when she was attacked. Photo / AP

The director of the Shark Lab at California State University believes the danger isn't as high as Cairns suggests, saying the shark population has exploded due to environmental protections and increasing water temperatures but doesn't believe it'll translate into attacks.

However Cairns disputes those claims, saying researchers still don't have an accurate picture of what's happening, and why, and he would prefer money went to research and monitoring rather than technology with no proven effectiveness.